Judge Harry Stone shared more than a first name with the actor who played him: Both the character and the man donned colorful ties, were magicians at heart and were superfans of the jazz great Mel Tormé, known as the Velvet Fog, who made several guest appearances on "Night Court".
"This morning at 6:41 a.m. the Asheville Police Department responded to the home of actor Harry Anderson where he was found deceased", Asheville PD's Public Affairs officer Christina Hallingse told THR. While no cause of death has been released, foul play is not suspected.
"Stunned by the passing of Harry Anderson, one of my comedy and magic inspirations growing up", said actor Neil Patrick Harris.
Anderson was nominated for Emmy awards three times during the show's nine-season run. After the show ended, he was cast in the lead role in the CBS sitcom "Dave's World", which was based on the life of Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry.
Anderson also appeared on "Cheers" and starred in his own sitcom, "Dave's World", which ran from 1993 to 1997. His TV appearances during this period became fewer and further between, but he appeared on a "Night Court"-centric episode of "30 Rock" in 2008". The affection for Torme was woven into his TV alter ego, Judge Harry Stone, a quirky character who ruled the bench at a Manhattan night court.
"I guess they figured I was an actor", Anderson said. He described Anderson as "this demented, semi-famous magician whom I happened to find hilarious".
Anderson learned the ropes as a street performer in San Francisco, New Orleans, and Austin, Texas, among other cities. He moved to California at the age of 16 to be with his father. He moved to New Orleans in 2000 where he opened a nightclub and a magic shop in the French Quarter.
"I am richer than Davy Crockett", Anderson said in the story.
Anderson eventually returned to live performance.
Anderson and his family moved to Asheville in 2006.
He's survived by 2 children and his wife, Elizabeth Morgan.
"I'm glad we tried to stay", he said, "but I don't want to be the person I will be if I stay here".